Stitches of love keeps them together
Upon walking into the Fisher home, your eye is immediately drawn to the beautiful artwork that adorns their walls and furnishings.
There are embroidered quilts, tablecloths and framed art wherever you look. Even more amazing is the fact that most of the work was done by Bob and Rene Fisher as a team.
Bob and Rene have been through a great deal over the 64 years they have been married. These two sweethearts have raised two children, lived in several communities around Oregon, and have both overcome cancer. When talking to them, the couple emanates unity, strength — and a great sense of humor.
Most of all, they enjoy doing everything together, and that is where their story begins.
The couple has known one another since they were young children. They both grew up and graduated in the community of Spray, Oregon. Bob went to school in Monument before transferring to Spray in fifth grade. When asked when they got together as a couple, Bob exploded into a big smile.
He explained that Rene caught him when chasing him for a Sadie Hawkins Dance. The girls literally chased the boys they wanted to take to the dance, and if they laid hands on them, they had to go to the dance with them.
"It was going good until I stubbed my toe," Bob said, laughing. The rest was history.
They were married in 1956, and early in their marriage, they lived in Mitchell, Oregon. Bob Worked for Oregon Fish and Wildlife. In the spring and summer months, he checked fish boxes, and in fall and winter months, he counted big game on horseback.
"If it had paid better, I would probably still have been there, but it didn't pay enough for us to survive," Bob said.
The couple had their daughter, Kristi, and son, Robert J. "Bobby," when Bob went to work for Hudspeth Logging and other logging companies until they shut down. Their kids grew up and graduated from Spray. He also worked for Tom Silvey, who had a logging company in Prineville, which eventually brought them to Prineville in 1978.
Bob left Tom Silvey and worked for D and E Wood, owned by Don and Ethel Smith, for several years. Rene worked for them as a bookkeeper for approximately 11 years. From 2000 to 2010, Bob and his son, Bobby, drove long haul trucks all over the States as a team for 10 years, and Rene dispatched for them from home.
"She kept us busy," Bob said. "She had to have a phone in every room because when she was hunting for loads, the phones were busy."
"I had a phone in all the bathrooms, and I had to have a phone no matter where I was at because I never knew when the phone would ring," Rene added.
Rene's last job was working for her son at a local computer store in Prineville. Bob now works part-time for his grandson, who has High Desert Farms. Bob hauls hay to Zillah, Washington, for them. He also works on the farm in the summer, which he really enjoys.
Rene spends her free time sewing whenever possible.
"I've always sewed from the time I was little," Rene said. "My mother taught me to sew. I got into this kind of stuff (embroidery) after we moved over here."
She added that her mother made a lot of clothes out of flour sacks. "My mother always sewed, and she taught me to sew, and I loved it. The old treadle machine would just be going."
The couple built their current home, about four miles out of town, when they moved to the Prineville area. Because of Rene's love for sewing, they added a large craft room to accommodate her projects. She bought her first embroidery machine from Morrow's Sewing in Bend.
"I have taken sewing classes since I moved over here 40-some years ago," she said. "I love any kind of sewing — it doesn't matter. I particularly love the machine embroidery, and you can make such beautiful things."
Rene hasn't let technology intimidate her as her craft has become more computerized and sophisticated over the years since she began. She recently took an embroidery class online.
"I have always loved to learn. Oh my goodness, how it has advanced since I started," she said.
Bob said that when he finished the remodel, Rene was in there all of the time. He said that in order to see her, he decided he would have to join her. He began doing embroidery with her, and he likes doing it almost as much as Rene.
She had two Baby Locks and recently purchased a new machine for her embroidery, a Brother. She makes projects for family and has never sold her work.
"We do it for our own enjoyment," she said, pointing to a project Bob was working on. They work on many of their projects together.
"I am trying to put a quilt together," Bob said.
Around their home, stunning embroidery creations adorn the walls. There are also tablecloths and other projects that draw the eye.
Bob and Rene have been through many hardships together. They have both fought cancer. Their son, Bobby, had a serious accident two years ago, which they spoke about with much difficulty and emotion.
They weather the storms of life together, and they sew together.
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